Martha Karua: What we plan to do with the 10 million signatures

Azimio la Umoja's deputy leader, Martha Karua on Spice FM. [Screengrab]

Azimio la Umoja's deputy leader, Martha Karua, has renewed the coalition's call for Kenyans to reject the punitive taxes and bad governance imposed by the Kenya Kwanza government.

In an interview on Spice FM on Monday, July 10, Karua appealed to Kenyans to unite and express their opposition to President William Ruto's administration.

She encouraged citizens to support the ongoing coalition's campaign, aiming to gather 10 million signatures as "a powerful symbol of disapproval against the current regime".
Karua stated that the gathered signatures would serve as a roll call, shaping the coalition's subsequent course of action.

Azimio launched the signature collection during the Saba Saba protests, on Friday, July 7.

"Even with huge rallies, it is not possible to demonstrate that a majority of Kenyans support us. Therefore, signature collection is like a roll call and a general meeting, which will be held in various places within Kenya," said Karua.

She added, "The people will hold their own referendum of signatures, so when we reach the threshold of 10 million signatures, we will know that a majority of Kenyans are speaking. It is a 'body count' of the people who are supporting the cause, expressing their will directly without relying on any institution."

Karua criticised President Ruto for imposing punitive taxes on a struggling population, with some Kenyans unable to afford food.

She encouraged Kenyans to find ways to avoid taxation, including carpooling to reduce fuel consumption. Karua clarified that carpooling did not mean abandoning personal vehicles and relying solely on public transportation.

The overall message was to urge people to reduce expenses and cut costs.

"We have been telling people, 'Look, you have power.' Article 1 of the Constitution states that sovereignty resides with the citizens of Kenya. This has been a constant message, and we are urging the people to exercise that sovereignty either through elected representatives or directly," Karua stated.

She added, "Since elected leaders have failed to exercise that sovereignty, it is time for the people to take matters into their own hands and exercise that sovereignty themselves."
Karua's statement came after Azimio joined supporters during Friday's Saba Saba protests, demonstrating against the high cost of living.

The protests resulted in several deaths and numerous injuries.

Leaders from Kenya Kwanza have downplayed Azimio's call to collect 10 million signatures, dismissing it as an exercise in futility.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, speaking in Mathira Constituency on Saturday, July 8, laughed off Odinga's signature drive against Ruto, stating, "Even if they collect those signatures, where will they take them? People signed on the ballot, and that was the end. I want to tell the people of Kenya to stay focused; we are not bothered by the noise of the opposition."